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Deputy forced to shoot, kill mountain lion in El Dorado County

The mountain lion had been following a family on a walk before the deputy attempted to scare it away.

EL DORADO COUNTY, Calif. — An El Dorado County sheriff's deputy was forced to shoot and kill a lone mountain lion on a bike trail east of Placerville Monday.

According to a Facebook post from the sheriff's office, a family called 911 while walking the trail with their two small children in a stroller and their two small dogs. The parents called for help after noticing they had been followed by the mountain lion for about 10 minutes. 

The family and other people nearby tried to yell at the lion to scare it but the animal continued to follow them. The sheriff's office said the deputy arrived and watched the mountain lion pace back and forth on the trail. 

"The deputy yelled at the lion which started walking toward the deputy instead of running away as a normal healthy mountain lion would," the sheriff's office said in a Facebook post. 

Trying to scare the animal away, the deputy reportedly fired a warning shot into the ground in from of the mountain lion, but the animal continued coming toward the deputy. 

The sheriff's office said this behavior told the deputy that the animal was not well and dangerous to the public and the deputy had "no other option" other than to shoot the animal. 

The sheriff's office said no other mountain lions were seen in the area during the shooting.

The mountain lion was taken by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to be studied. 

"It is important to note that mountain lions live throughout El Dorado County and should be allowed to live undisturbed," the sheriff's office said on Facebook. 

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